I never used to be a huge fan of candy. Sure, when I was a kid we used to love any time we were allowed to pick out a candy bar at the checkout line. But in America you just kind of grow out of the candy phase. "Candy is for children." I never looked twice at the candy aisle in stores in the States.
Not so in Sweden.
I sit here writing this post eating a few pieces of candy from our lösgodis bag we happened to snag last night when we made a quick run to the store. Translated, it means loose candy. I remember getting a bag or two like this when I was way younger with my grandma, and I really do mean it when I say a time or two. I can't even count, having lived in Sweden for 6 months now, the number of times J and I have bought a bag of lösgodis. It's as if every store has its selection and you just go at it. Kids, adults, anybody. Swedes even designate Saturday, or lördag, as candy day. All children get to have candy one day a week, on Saturday.
On another note, the weather has been absolutely beautiful lately here in Västra Götaland, or more specifically (and a now extinct name) Skaraborg. For those of you who don't know, Sweden is divided up into 21 (I think?) "counties" or "landscapes". It's difficult to translate. Think of them kind of as states, those of you from the U.S. Anyway, there have been unending amounts of sunshine and temperatures have been in the low 20s C (aka low 70s F). After such a long, harsh, cooold winter, it feels glorious! And dare I even say it, hot. I'm almost having a hard time adjusting to not wearing a sweater or anything. It makes me feel almost naked. I'm not complaining!
J and I have taken to walking around town more frequently (partly due to his job having a "step competition", or they wear pedometers every day and whoever gets the most steps within 5 weeks gets bragging rights.) Here are some shots I've taken of the lovely town of Skövde:
The main church right next to the main town square downtown.
Right behind the church is a several hundred years old cemetery - there are about 15 quite old headstones that you can just walk up to.
This was the oldest headstone - placed there in 1662!
Pretty flowers and fountain in the park behind the church and graveyard.
The main square downtown.
One night last week we decided to skirt the giant Volvo plant area in town, it was creepy at this time in the evening! It was like being on Mars, it was so deserted everywhere.
This is a picture I took of our apartment building. The sky was so blue that day!
Beautiful springtime in the big park across the street. I love walking there.
It's been nice to be able to go outside and not have to put on five layers. It's nice to see everyone else out and about, too. The winter by no means kept people from going about life as usual. But suddenly now I see things like old people riding bikes to and from the store, or kids in the music high school sitting outside under trees and just playing music together like new-age hippies. Not to mention all the Swedish girls laying out in the park in a bikini sun-tanning. Swedes will take advantage of whatever nice weather they can get, because let's be honest, it won't get much warmer than it already is all summer. We'll probably be lucky if it hits 30C (or mid 80s F).
Nothing else is new in the world of blue and yellow. Good weather, still attending SFI, still working my part time job, still volunteering to help kids learn English, and still meeting an older Swedish woman once a week to help her with her English. Nothing too crazy. As the Swedes say, "Lagom är bäst!"